In fiction, the death of a loved one is often romanticized to a certain degree. Upon the death of a wealthy character, grieving -- or gleeful -- family members often await the reading of the will, and many are surprised about the division of the assets. However, this is rarely, if ever, the case in Texas. In most cases, copies of the will have been handed out to those it affects. While the idea of surprising a few people may be appealing in the movies, there are actually many conversations that could help smooth the process of estate planning.
While most people think of estate planning only as deciding who will receive what assets, there is actually much more to it than that. For example, there may be a family business at stake. By having conversation with family members, a business owner can determine who is interested in running the business, for example. Additionally, such conversations give people an opportunity to explain some of the decisions they have made.
However, estate planning also involves deciding who will manage your affairs if you become unable to do so due to a medical condition. Many people designate someone to be in charge of their medical and financial decisions. Discussing this allows an opportunity to make your wishes known as well as to explain the responsibilities that are being given.
Perhaps one of the most important pieces of advice related to estate planning is simply not to wait too long. Many people are uninterested in facing their mortality, prompting them to put it off and potentially leave family members in a precarious situation in the event of an unexpected accident or illness. For those in Texas who are interested in making such decisions, there are experienced attorneys who can help ensure that you have all of the necessary documents completed to protect your family.
Source: marketwatch.com, "Estate planning: It's never too early to start", Elizabeth O'Brien, Oct. 23, 2014